Dr. Carrie Hall
Video Games Taught Me More Than School Ever Did
School taught your basic subjects of math, reading, and writing but it was always through textbooks and listening to the teacher. I think the best way to learn is to make the process fun and relatable. Something that made learning fun for me were video games. Video games do not look like they would teach you anything that is taught in school but they instead, teaches you social skills that school just doesn’t seem to teach.
Playing video games has taught me a handful of things. I think a game that taught me a lot is Rainbow Six Siege. My friends and I would play this every day. There are times where not all my friends are able to get on to play for whatever reason, which forces me to play alone. Playing Siege alone was difficult due to Siege being a team oriented game where having intel and communicating it to the rest of the team is key to winning. Since I was just playing with random people when my friends weren’t on, I didn’t really talk to any of the people on my team. I kept seeing my teammates getting killed but I was busy dealing with my own enemy, but once I was done with my opponent, my teammate’s enemy stopped fighting with them and decide to go finish me off. With the lack of communication, I didn’t really know and I get killed because I was the last one alive in the round. It went on like this for the whole game and in the end, we lost the game. The next game, I tried giving callouts to my teammates and we actually won the game without the other team even getting a chance to win a round. The fact that we are all strangers and were able to come together to win forced random people and I to have to talk and interact with each other. As strange as that may be, this can be carried over into the real world. Such as if I am working on something with a group of classmates or coworkers, I can communicate with them effectively to complete our task.
Since playing video games have gotten more complex than in the past, majority of games filled with so many things to do. This also helps improve multitasking skills. In Siege you have to worry about all kinds of things, such as the enemy team, traps, and if the game mode is hostage then also that. Hostage is a game mode where the attacking team is tasked with either grabbing the hostage and bringing them back to any flare outside of the map or they eliminate the whole defending team. You also have to worry about the time and your teammates. I say teammates because in this game your team can technically kill you, it is strongly recommended not to by the game but, that doesn’t really stop people from doing it, so it is good to watch out. Having a team member kill you, whether it is an accident or not, it puts your team in a disadvantage because the other team has to deal with one less person. All these facts forces you to have to multitask. This has kind of improved my multitasking skills because it forces me to finish a certain task within a given amount of time. The timer in the game is probably the thing that helped me the most in multitasking because you only get three minutes a round. Sometimes you lose track of time when you are worrying about your own life in the game. The traps in the game can take down a significant amount of health away from you and can give away where you are to the enemy team who can just come out of nowhere and kill you. This is relatable to real life because you can have a ton of assignments due and if you just ignore one, your grade for that class will take the hit and lower. This helps me to work on all the assignments making sure that I don’t forget one.
Decision making isn’t really taught in school from my experience, I think I’ve felt more of a decision making in video games than in school. As I have said before about how you have to multitask, you also have to decide how you want to approach things and how you want to do it. There have been moments where I had to decide whether I had to get into the objective or kill the last guy on the other team because time was ticking. The objective was basically this little container in a room that you are supposed to stay in without anyone from the other team being in the room to stop you securing. This taught me about making the important decision and how it will impact the final moments of the round. In school, I’d get choices but I felt like it didn’t really matter which one I chose, the results would generally be the same. While on Siege, If I did not go into the objective while the time almost hit zero, I would have lost the round and our team would’ve been put at a disadvantage.
The most important thing I think I’ve learned is probably patience. There are times in Siege where you have to wait for the other team to come at you so that all you need to do is kill them. If you go rushing in, the other team will be ready for you and catch you off guard. School never really taught me patience because I’d get homework or other assignments due the next day so I never really put much time into the work. The work wasn’t straight trash but if I had more time, I’m sure the assignment would’ve been better.
Having an objective to accomplish in a video game brings together everyone that is playing. You won’t really find the kind of teamwork in videos in like school or somewhere else with people that do not know each other. It also taught me how to multitask better which school kind of helped but it didn’t really feel as impactful as learning it from playing games. Decision making and patience were things I felt like were something I’m glad I learned because there are a lot of decisions to make in life and some things in life can’t really be rushed so having patience helps. I find that learning these values from something other than school is more interesting to me because it is more of learning from your own interests and not having information just shoved in your face. When you learn from your own curiosity and interest, you feel more invested in it than someone giving you information. I always felt like school forced information into my brain that I was not really invested in. This led me to remember the information for that school year and then forget about it when the next year came. Learning skills at my own paced helped me to retain those skills and use it in school and work.